Med BioGene Inc, Vancouver, British Columbia, now has exclusive rights to develop and commercialize a prognostic test for lung cancer developed by the University Health Network in Toronto. Med BioGene acquired the rights following license and collaboration agreements between the two companies yesterday.

The test, which will be marketed under the trade name LungExpress Dx™, is for patients with early non-small cell lung cancer. Thirty percent to 55% of patients with this type of cancer die as a result of the disease, which implies that patients can have strikingly different responses to treatments.

LungExpress Dx is based on gene expression and provides an individualized insight into each patient’s case of cancer, including information regarding prognosis for survival. This information can be used to direct further treatment following surgical removal of cancerous tumors, which includes the selection of patients that should receive chemotherapy.

“This test has the potential to make an immediate impact upon patient care by providing a more significant understanding of each patient’s cancer, thus resulting in better-informed, more appropriate treatment decisions. We are moving much closer to the ultimate goal of personalized medicine,” says Frances A. Shepherd, MD, leader of the research that developed the test.

The University Health Network and Med BioGene Inc have plans for large-scale testing to confirm the results of LungExpress Dx prior to commercialization.